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TriDelta Insight
February 2017
Dear reader,

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration only a month ago we find the world in a very divided and different place. Economic optimism has however surged to levels not seen in the past five years according to a recent Bank of America survey. At TriDelta we too remain optimistic on the US economy and stock market given the clean sweep victory by the US Republican Party.

There are however many risks such as a Trump misstep, US trade wars, European elections and the uncertain US bond market. We also appreciate that any one of these has the potential to negatively affect markets at some point.

We continue to focus on building your wealth in a structured, systematic and diversified way to effectively manage risk and deliver financial peace of mind.

Here are a variety of articles with ideas on escaping the cold, understanding our housing market, enjoying regular walking, commuting your pension and more ideas.

Enjoy and be well,

TriDelta Financial

RRSP deadline approaches

The deadline to contribute for the 2016 tax year is March 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM (local time).

The contribution limit is $25,370 or 18% of your 2016 income (minus any pension adjustments), whichever is less, plus any unused contribution room from previous years.

rrsp

If you are not sure how much you’re eligible to contribute refer to your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment, which includes your next years' contribution limit. This document also shows your unused contribution room or you can call your local Tax Information Phone Systems (TIPS) number.

RRSP contributions are 100% tax deductible against your income and the growth inside the RRSP is tax deferred. You should however keep in mind that RRSPs are 100% taxable when you withdraw funds at a future date.

Please call me if you have any questions.

Company pensions – take the money?

You have been told time and again that you are one of the lucky ones. You have a defined benefit pension — meaning that when you retire you will get a fixed monthly payment for as long as you live.

Treasure Chest

I agree you are one of the lucky ones, but not exactly for the reason that you might think. You are one of the lucky ones because you might be able to get an extra-large lump sum payout when interest rates are close to their historic all-time lows. But this opportunity could be slipping away.

As you may be aware, a low interest rate at the time you take what is called the commuted value payout of your pension, can add hundreds of thousands or even millions to the value of that payout depending on the size of your overall pension. As interest rates rise, that payout gets smaller.

The key interest rate for most Canadian pensions is the Bank of Canada five-year bond yield. This is often the number used to help calculate your commuted pension value. On Feb. 10 2016, the five-year yield hit an all time low of 0.41 per cent. That was the best day for a commuted value pension (or best month as they are usually valued monthly). As I write this, the five-year yield is now 1.14 per cent — or almost triple where it was in mid-February.

Continue reading...
Our housing market – is this the top?

The explosive growth of the Canadian housing market in the last decade may finally be coming to an end.

Interestingly there is good logic on both sides of the debate and it is anyone’s guess where markets go in the short term.

The reasons for it to continue growing:

House
  • Foreign buyers remain very active despite a slowdown in Vancouver due to the new 15% BC foreign buyers tax. This has however likely boosted Toronto sales.
  • Three decades of low interest rates.
  • Job growth in the major centres outpaces the national average, particularly Toronto and Vancouver, which collectively accounted for all of Canada’s increases in 2016.
Continue reading...
Health & Fitness

At TriDelta we are huge believers in exercise, but tend to fall into the same bad habits as everyone else. Hopefully these short reminders will help reinforce the good and healthy habits.

walking

Do you walk regularly? This relatively easy task can arguably be enjoyable, but also very healthy.

According to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress suggested that regular exercise can increase life span.

A group of 69 healthy non-smokers, aged between 30 & 60, who did not exercise regularly were tested as part of the study at Saarland University in Germany. Blood tests taken during 6 months of exercise - aerobic, high-intensity interval and strength training showed that an anti-ageing process had been triggered and helped repair old DNA.

“This suggests that when people exercise regularly, they may be able to retard the process of ageing,” said Sanjay Sharma, professor of inherited cardiac diseases in sports cardiology at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Study author Sanjay Sharma, professor of inherited cardiac diseases in sports cardiology at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, told The Independent:

“We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.”

“The study brings a bit more understanding of why physical activity has that effect,” said Christi Deaton, Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research at Cambridge Institute of Public Health.

“It helps us understand the process of cellular ageing, as that’s what drives our organ system and body ageing, and the effects physical activity can have on the cellular level.

“The more active you are, and it doesn’t matter when you start, the more benefit you are going to have.”

Here are a few more related article links:
Walk your way to better mental health
The Great Trail - a coast to coast walking trail coming to Canada in 2017

Travel to escape the winter cold

Anton Tucker, co-founder of TriDelta Financial was born in South Africa so it should be no surprise that he endorses travelling to this destination and promoting his beloved old country.

South Africa is a diverse country offering so much to see, do and experience - there is no country quite like it.

elephants

From Safari to Surf, Wine country to Hikers Havens, Picturesque Coastlines to Majestic Mountain ranges, Luxury rail to Horseback riding, this Rainbow Nation is so warm and welcoming that you’ll feel the need to return.

With the current exchange rate sitting at around 10.00ZAR for 1.00CAD, it is an amazing destination at a great, great value.

Just a sampling of what there is to do and see while visiting the country:

Safari:  There so many luxurious game parks to choose from in various regions of the country.  The original game parks are in the Northern Gauteng Province and will require you to take anti-malaria medication if you plan to travel there.  There are also many non-malaria areas that have the Big 5 too and offer an exceptional experience.   When on safari remember that you’re not in a zoo. There are rules about what you can and cannot do. These aren’t laborious or restrictive and will generally vary according to your destination.

Cape Province:   Robben island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years before becoming the president of south Africa).  Table Mountain which offers cable car rides and hikes to the summit, where you are able to get a 360 degree view of Cape Town. Boulders beach to see the penguins.

If you're an adventure seeker both shark diving and shark breaching are available. Bungee jump from leaping from the world's tallest commercial bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa's eastern cape.  Surf enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with the waves!

The wine lands are just an hours' drive from Cape Town and is worth booking as a separate stay.  Those looking for an over the top wine themed excursion can head out to the wine lands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where Delaire Graff Estate and La Residence, respectively, are two top luxury estates for a getaway including wine tour, of a few hours or a few days.

Cape Province

In Johannesburg experience history at the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu in the neighbourhood of Soweto. A visit to the apartheid museum is highly recommended

Archeological Buffs: Discover mankinds fascinating ancient history at South Africa's Cradle of Humankind world heritage site, home to some of the oldest human fossils ever found.

Rail Lovers: Hop aboard either the Blue Train or Rovos Rail for a luxurious and ultra-scenic adventure between Johannesburg, Cape Town and other destinations.

Foodies: Learn to cook traditional Cape Malay dishes in the chef’s home and then sit down to eat the meal. Picnics are packaged and planned in spots with exquisite views as well as on some of the wine farms. Stay over at a working farm and help pick your own vegetables for dinner and eggs for breakfast.

These ideas were compiled by Anne Barclay, owner of Wanderlust Luxury Travel Boutique

Anton's Movie Review

Hidden Figures is based on true historical events that unfolded 50 years ago in America. The story focusses on three African American women who work for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in the Sixties when racial segregation and sexism were widely accepted in society.

The film is based on Margo Shetterly's nonfiction book with the same title. The film, directed by Theodore Melfi turns the entwined careers of Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan into a wonderful and engaging celebration of efforts rewarded.

Hidden Figures

At a time when segregation of washrooms and bus seating were commonplace, these three women carefully challenged convention by proving they were some of the best minds at NASA and deserving of a chance. It’s a story that few people outside of NASA may have ever heard, but it’s a truly amazing and emotional portrayal of American history. Hidden Figures does a wonderful job of bringing it to light in a way that is full of heart and inspiration.

The movie is inspiring for all ages and genders. It’s a Disney-like blend of heart, a lot of humour and the historical context makes it all the more realistic. Well worth seeking it out to watch.

The main actors are:
Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, mathematician & supervisor.
Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Goble, physicist and mathematician.
Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson, who becomes an engineer.
Kevin Costner as Al Harrison, director of the Space Task Group.
Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell, supervisor.


By Anton Tucker , Exec VP & Portfolio Manager.
Anton's Book Review

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This remains one of my favorite reads, but rather than me tell you why, here’s the author’s view:

This is my most popular book. It still sells about 100 000 copies a year in paperback in the US, it was number one in the UK and Italy and it was on the German best seller list for six years. It’s overwhelmingly the book that readers talk to me about when I meet them in bookshops. It’s becoming a cult.

The Pillar’s of the Earth

When I started writing, back in the early Seventies, I found I had no vocabulary for describing buildings. I read a couple of books on architecture and developed an interest in cathedrals. I became a bit of a 'train spotter' on the subject. I would go to a town, like Lincoln or Winchester, check into a hotel and spend a couple of days looking around the cathedral and learning about it. Before too long, it occurred to me to channel this enthusiasm into a novel.

When I started talking about the idea, some of my friends were quite shocked. They said, “you know, you’ve had a lot of success with these thrillers, are you sure you want to write about building a church?”.

However, those of my friends who are writers saw immediately how the building of the church would be the spine of the story and the focus for the lives of all the characters. I knew it had to be a long book. It took at least thirty years to build a cathedral and most took longer because they would run out of money, or be attacked or invaded. So the story covers the entire lives of the main characters.

Writing Pillars of the Earth was exhausting. It is much more difficult to write one book of 400,000 words than three or four shorter books because you have to keep making up more and more stuff about the same people. Pillars of the Earth took me three years and three months and towards the end I was working Saturdays and Sundays because I thought I was never going to get it finished.

My publishers were a little nervous about such a very unlikely subject but paradoxically, it is my most popular book. It’s also the book I’m most proud of. It recreates, quite vividly, the entire life of the village and the people who live there. You feel you know the place and the people as intimately as if you yourself were living there in the middle ages.


By Anton Tucker , Exec VP & Portfolio Manager.
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For more information about TriDelta Financial and our services please visit us online at tridelta.ca.
TriDelta Financial - Toronto
Tel: 416-733-3292 ext. 221
E-mail: tedr@tridelta.ca
2 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 410
Toronto Ontario M2N 5Y7

TriDelta Financial - Oakville
Tel: 905-901-3429
E-mail: anton@tridelta.ca
146 Lakeshore Rd. East, Suite 200
Oakville, Ontario L6J 1H4